Salmon En Papillote with Vegetables

Delicious Salmon En Papillote with Vegetables | jessicagavin.com

Do you find yourself having a Rachel Ray moment? You know, noodling around to figure out how you can make a quick meal in 30 minutes or less on any given weekday? Sunday mornings are typically when I navigate through the super market aisles in search for my weekday meal inspiration. I want to be able to make Jason and I something healthy, flavorful and fast. Sounds like a wish I would make with a magical genie!

We are all strapped for time during the week, speeding through dinner so we can spend those extra minutes relaxing, or for me, snuggling with baby James. So I dug deep into those foggy memory banks from culinary school and had an Aha moment… salmon en papillote! Huh? What the heck is papillote? That’s just a fancy way to say “in parchment” in French, but it sounds much more impressive and romantic in the language of love, so why not! So lets get going, we only have 30 minutes remember?… 

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Vanilla Shortbread Cookies

Vanilla shortbread cookies with a hot cup of tea | jessicagavin.com

Once the tryptophan induced coma from turkey day subsides, December seems to be a month long celebration to honor the endless possibilities of the cookie. Pinwheels, snickerdoodles, peanut butter kisses, gingerbread… Oh my! I’m not complaining, quite the opposite, I’m embracing and indulging. Even though there are so many great cookie options out there, I’m a big fan of simplicity.

One of my favorite cookies to make during the holidays are vanilla shortbread cookies. Some years ago, after an incredible experience dining at the French Laundry, they sent us home with a small silver box filled with perfect rectangular shaped shortbread cookies dusted with just a hint of sugar. They crumble delicately while melting in your mouth with each bite, and they have just the right hint of sweetness. I was searching through my Ad Hoc at Home cookbook and found the recipe for those very same shortbread cookies, whoot! You bet I immediately scavenged through my fridge and pantry to see if I could quickly make a batch. With only 4 ingredients, these are the easiest and tastiest vanilla shortbread cookies you will ever find!… 

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Mini Salted Caramel Apple Pie Jars

Mini Salted Caramel Apple Pie Jars | jessicagavin.com

Good things come in small packages right? Especially the yummy ones! I’m a sucker for all things mini, especially if it’s individual servings of dessert so I don’t have to share, muahaha. Apple pie is such a classic treat that you can really enjoy it all year round. It’s just that in the fall you have more choices on the varieties. I like the idea of making little servings of apple pie so that it’s faster to bake and enjoy! Sweet crisp apples, luscious salted caramel sauce and flaky tender pie crust makes for the ultimate dessert, mini salted caramel apple pie jars. Ooohh you are going to be HAPPY to have one of these warm out of the oven!… 

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Easy Whipped Mashed Potatoes Recipe

Whipped mashed potatoes with onion topping | jessicagavin.com #recipe

Have you noticed that potatoes always gets a bad rap until the holidays roll around? I know, those poor delicious carbs, it’s just not fair! To make up for this injustice, I think a recipe for fluffy, creamy, buttery whipped mashed potatoes are in order. Mashed potatoes are one of the simplest dishes to make, however there are many ways to make them. The good new is, I’ve found a method that I really like for the silkiest and most flavorful spuds which I want to share you!… 

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Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon Recipe

sauteed brussels sprouts with bacon recipe | jessicagavin.com

Brussels sprouts, love them or hate them? Sometimes just hearing those two words can make you cringe, but it doesn’t have to be that way! It seems that many kids and adults have taste aversion when they hear that those adorable baby cabbage looking veggies will be served on the menu. However, have you noticed that lately they have become sort of cool? I’ve been seeing recipes for Brussels Sprouts pop up for them all over the internet, they are crying out to be eaten and respected and I think it’s because chefs have finally figured out how to make them taste good!

I remember being a curious little girl at the grocery store and when no one was looking, I grabbed one little sprout, for some reason it looked so cute, like a mini head of cabbage. I took one sniff and thought, not bad. I took a small bite from the raw veggie and spit it out immediately! Ewww, what was I thinking! The sprout was tough and tasted bitter, I was not a fan.  I honestly don’t think I have had any desire to make a Brussels sprout dish since then. Fast forward a couple years, when I was in culinary school my chef instructor showed us how to properly cook and flavor these unappreciated yet healthy veggies. Let me show you what I did to make a flavorful and surprisingly satisfying sautéed Brussels sprouts with bacon recipe…. 

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Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping

Sweet Potato Casserole recipe with Pecan Topping | jessicagavin.com

Whoo hoo! My hands down favorite holiday is almost here, Thanksgiving! It’s all about the food, football, wearing pants that stretch and getting that food coma “glow” with family and friends, it’s the best. There’s also no better time to turn a starchy sweet root vegetable into a dessert masked as a side dish. Those bright sunny orange fleshed sweet potatoes (also known as yams in North America, but that just doesn’t sound as yummy) are pretty amazing to eat just simply roasted or steamed. They have this incredible natural sweetness, yet are packed with healthy vitamins like beta carotene and dietary fiber. What’s not to like about a carb that tastes good and is healthier for you? I wanted to get a little more creative with my holiday sweet potato casserole recipe this year, oh man it’s addicting… I could’t stop sneaking bites!… 

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Classic Pumpkin Pie Recipe

The Best Classic Pumpkin Pie Recipe | jessicagavin.com #food #pumpkinpie

To kick off the month of November right and get us excited for thanksgiving, nothing screams holidays like a freshly baked pie. My house has been completely scented with the smell of sweet spices, bubbling sugars and baked butter crusts, and I’m not complaining (well maybe just my waistline). I really wanted to find a rock star classic pumpkin pie recipe so that I could always have an ace in my pocket for holiday gatherings. Pumpkin pies are one of the staple items people have come to expect on the dessert table. Without it you feel like something’s just not right. It’s a tall order because if you are making the pie, there are expectations, so you gotta nail the recipe. Wanna learn how?… 

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No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake Cups

No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake Cups | jessicagavin.com #recipe #cheesecake

Warning! This recipe is extremely easy to make which means you can satisfy your cheesecake craving at any moment, and may become highly addictive… Whew, glad I got that out of the way! Sometimes when I think about making cheesecake, I cringe. To make a cheesecake just right, it takes a lot of time and proper technique to nail the super decadent creamy texture. Not to mention you’ve got to fire up the oven, make a water bath, hope the top of your cheesecake doesn’t crack…urgh, the stress is unbearable at the moment. I have been seeing a lot of great no bake dessert recipe ideas, so I thought I would give these no bake pumpkin cheesecake cups a try! This is an especially clever dessert to make when you have run out of oven space during your holiday cooking marathon…. 

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Pumpkin Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake

delicious pumpkin pecan streusel coffeecake | jessicagavin.com #fallrecipe

Dare I say, fall is finally making it’s appearance in Southern California? During our walk back from our favorite local breakfast spot this past weekend with my husband Jason and baby James, I finally noticed some indicators of autumn. Leaves are beginning to turn brown on the trees and just barely starting to cover the ground. Some of my neighbors have started to put up some spooky Halloween decorations, and of course pumpkins in their front yards. As we almost reached home and I finished sipping the last addictive ounces of my chai latte, I got a sudden urge to bake…. 

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Halloween Graveyard Brownie Cupcakes

Halloween Graveyard Brownie Cupcakes | jessicagavin.com #halloween #cupcakes

“Trick-or-treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat…”, do you remember that song? I used to joyously sing that song with my cousins, knowing very well how naughty it was, whoever wrote it must be a gazillionaire! Halloween has got to be one of my favorite fall festivities. It’s one of the rare nights sugar crazy kids get to stay up all night, dress like what they secretly want to be in real life, collect pillowcases full of free candy from strangers and your parents don’t say no. I admittedly had a secret stash of candy hidden in my closet that I was sneaking each day until Santa came to town. Now being a mom, I’m having fun dressing up baby James in adorable costumes until he can chose his own someday. This year I found the most legit baby Batman onesie with a detachable cape and everything, score!… 

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